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I Learned Something New About Ubuntu

Call me stupid for not knowing this, but Ubuntu charges for support.  And here, I thought Ubuntu followed every aspect of the Debian infrastructure and philosophies.  I was way wrong.

Looking at the Debian GNU/Linux distro, I am having a hard time seeing why I should stay with Ubuntu and not make the move to Debian.  There are really only a few things I can think of, but they are the reasons I stay.

First, Ubuntu really is Debian made easy.  Installing software is a bit easier than a standard Debian system, and installing the OS is far better than the text-based installer with Debian.

Next, Ubuntu is at least cutting edge compared to Debian-stable.  Correct me if I am wrong, but Ubuntu is more like Debian-testing than anything.  It really isn't Debian-unstable, because some software I have to wait until the next release to get, and it definitely isn't Debian-stable as I do get the most recent upgrades on a majority of packages.

Third, Ubuntu is release every six months on schedule, no ifs ands or buts.  I don't have to wait three years for the next stable release.  Debian lost a large portion of its user base between woody and sarge, because of what seemed like a lack of interest in getting sarge stable.  The excuse is redesigning the installer, but I think it stems to something deeper.  The installer is again being reason for the wait on releasing etch.  I guess we'll see.

Fourth, and most important, the community is a rock soid community.  Not a bunch of idealogists or people on political soap boxes.  The people are just people trying to get their system to work they way they want.  Visit to see what I mean.  For the most part, you won't find people putting the new users down because they don't understand the simple stuff.  Yes, you find this quite a bit in the Debian forums, as well as Slackware and Gentoo.

Lastly, it just works.  Debian just works too, but Ubuntu gives the necessary fluff to attract the users that will be responsible for the dethrone of Windows.  Debian gives the user rock solid stability, but still keeps the OS hard enough to keep the Windows converts away but easy enough to use.  Ubuntu is just easy to learn and use.

I guess in a nutshell, I am not too upset that Ubuntu offers commercial support.  Commercial/paid support will attract businesses, and pour more money into the project.   It just surprised me, because I thought Ubuntu was Debian, just with it's own hacks and implementations.  I guess it's a lot more than that.

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